Office of CoP has 'complete power to manage Police Service'
The Police Service Commission (PSC) said yesterday under Section 85 of the Constitution, National Security Minister Jack Warner has "jurisdiction" to "exercise general direction and control" over departments within his portfolio.
The PSC also said the office of the Police Commissioner, under Section 123A of the Constitution, had "the complete power to manage the Police Service", while the PSC's oversight powers included, inter alia, its mandate to "monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the discharge of the functions" of the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioners.
This too is laid out in Section 123 of the Constitution.
"This constitutional mandate is currently being undertaken by the PSC," the PSC said in a release.
The PSC said Section 123 of the Constitution also gives the PSC the authority to call on the Commissioner of Police to produce documents pertaining to financial, legal and personnel matters in relation to the Police Service.
"The Commissioner is required to submit such documents in a timely manner," the PSC said.
The PSC also denied media reports that it called an emergency meeting on Tuesday, and also questioned who was the "PSC source" cited in two media reports.
Attorney Martin George, who is also a PSC member, yesterday spoke on the issue from the legal perspective but not as a PSC member.
"It appears the Minister of National Security is guilty of over-exuberance by the statements he made.
"We all know his approach is to jump in with both feet first," he said in a telephone interview.
George said while it was "challenging and difficult" to attack the current crime situation, "withholding statistics will not bring about a resolution to the problem".
George said Warner's statements have put the Commissioner of Police in a situation where he now has to restore public confidence in the Police Service.
"The Police Service must remain free of political directive, interference and control," he added.